Verdict: Decent animation and a stellar voice over cast keep you entertained throughout.
A lady who wrote the screenplay for acclaimed director Sudhir Mishra’s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi returns to the silver screen after a long gap of 12 years with a satire filled story based on Hanuman’s mythological stories. It is Ruchi Narain and unlike her previous film Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow, Hanuman Da' Damdaar is a fantasy-cum-adventure-cum-
The film begins a picturesque pan shot of a stream by a jungle with a peppy and groovy version of Hanuman Chalisa playing in the background. Then, we are introduced to Sage Valmiki (here's hoping you know who he is) who discovers another version of Hanuman’s story written by the Monkey God himself. We all know Bhai ka Dil kitna bada hai and therefore the older Hanuman (Salman Khan) destroys his own version to make Valmiki happy. But later Hanuman regrets his action and decides to narrate his story to the audience himself. So we are taken to Hanuman’s eventful childhood where he chases the sun, flies high up in the sky and fights God Indra. But this panga costs him dearly resulting in memory loss. Hanuman’s mother (Raveena Tandon) scared of losing her son forever cages him inside the palace thus making him a coward. This pains Hanuman’s father (Saurabh Shukla) after his return from a war. In order to make his father proud, Hanuman asks the Almighty to make him the most powerful person on Earth.
Somewhere in a dark cave, another character Vishrav, the most intelligent sage in the world with magical powers, devises a grand plan to use Hanuman for getting amrit in order to become immortal. He visits Lanka and informs the king about the impending danger they have from Hanuman. The two together decide to find and kill Hanuman.
By now, Hanuman and his insect friend Sweety, an over enthusiastic persona who is abreast with everything possible, are transported to a jungle. Here, Hanuman discovers his strength and also meets Garud Bhai (that is how they call each other in the film). The two hit instantly and are seen fighting goons sent by the Lanka king. When it turns out that Garud is also involved in the grand plan, Hanuman is taken aback. From here, the film becomes all the more interesting. Now narrating the entire story here would make the visual experience less enjoyable. So let me just stop here. To know what happens next, go watch the film.
With dialogues like Hata Sawan Ki Ghata and Oo Tere ki, the film does sound banal at times, but what makes the film exciting is the wonderful work done by all voiceover artists. Salman fans would be disappointed as Bhaijaan makes his presence felt only for a few minutes. But do not worry, as the film boasts of dubbing done by famous actors like Saurabh Shukla, Raveena Tandon, Vinay Pathak, Kunal Khemu, Javed Akhtar and Chunky Pandey. The animation quality in some parts was exceptionally good, but overall, it was above average; at least better than what we are served till now by Bollywood. The background score has to be one of the strongest points of the film. What will possibly annoy the audience are the insensitive jokes made on homosexuals as well as South Indians of Lanka and spoofing mythology and Hindu Gods. I, however, loved the part where God Indra, Hanuman and Garud engage in a hilarious conversation. God Vishnu is just too cool to handle and his swag is impossible to ignore. The entire film uses contemporary lingo thus making the audience connect better. One of the best scenes in the film is when Hanuman, in anger, turns Lanka into an island by breaking it away from the Indian land.
In all, the film is worth watching and not for a minute will you feel bored; though there are chances you might get offended.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Because it is a wholesome entertainment package; full of comedy, adventure, emotions and fantasy. Watch Hanuman Da' Damdaar to witness the wonderful work of all the voice over artists. Salman fans – you do not need a reason. Others, go check out mythology from a whole new angle and before you get offended please recollect the disclaimer at the beginning.